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K-State confirms changes to Bill Snyder’s defensive staff

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The shakeup on the defensive side of Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State coaching staff is officially official.

Friday evening, K-State confirmed that defensive coordinator Tom Hayes has decided to step down from his post and retire. Hayes had spent the past six seasons as the Wildcats’ coordinator, and ends a coaching career that spans more than four decades.

As had previously been reported, the football program also confirmed in the same release that Brian Norwood has been hired as Hayes’ replacement. Norwood had spent the past three seasons as co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach/associate head coach.

The official titles Norwood, who also had previous stops in the Big 12 at Baylor and Texas Tech, will hold at KSU are co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

Holding the title of defensive coordinator will be Blake Seiler, who was promoted to the job after serving as linebackers coach for the Wildcats this past season. Prior to that, Seiler, who played his college football at K-State, coached defensive ends at his alma mater from 2013-16.

“We are very fortunate to have coaches like Blake Seiler, who is well prepared to step into the coordinator role,” Snyder said in a statement. “Blake is a bright young man, quick learner, hard worker and well-received and trusted by our players. He helped coordinate our defense this past year with emphasis on our run defense. Blake is highly respected by our staff and players for his values as well as his passionate teaching. …

“I am so very pleased to have Brian Norwood join our staff as our secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator. He comes to us highly recommended by many coaches who I highly respect. Brian is truly a K-State type of person. He is a caring, loyal, genuine, disciplined, hard-working and responsible person with the highest value system – a great family man and a man of faith. We are honored to have he and his wonderful wife Tiffiney, along with his children, join our Wildcat family.”

Kansas State reportedly hiring Tulsa’s Brian Norwood to replace retiring DC Tom Hayes

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It may be mid-February but there’s still plenty of shuffling going on at coaching staffs around the country.

After nearly three weeks of speculation, it appears that Kansas State and Bill Snyder will be one of the last in the collegiate ranks to complete their 2018 coaching staff as 247Sports’ GoPowerCat.com is reporting the school will soon hire Tulsa co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach Brian Norwood. 

It does not appear that Norwood’s exact title is known just yet but he is set to replace recently retired KSU defensive coordinator Tom Hayes so it would seem likely that he will take over in a similar role upon getting to Manhattan. 10 year veteran Blake Seiler did hold the formal title of assistant defensive coordinator prior to Hayes’ departure so co-coordinators on the defensive side would not be an unexpected move from the head coach who carries the nickname of the Wizard.

Norwood has been at Tulsa since Philip Montgomery was hired in 2015 but has extensive Big 12 experience prior to making the move to the Golden Hurricanes. Most notably, he spent seven seasons at Baylor from 2008 to 2014 and also had a stint at Texas Tech earlier in his career. Norwood also spent seven years in Happy Valley as the longtime safeties coach at Penn State.

The report from GoPowerCat.com notes that an official announcement on the hire could come in the next several days.

K-State loses a second offensive player to transfer

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Personnel attrition has been a mini-theme of late for Kansas State, and that roster movement has continued.

On his personal Twitter account Sunday, wide receiver Dominique Heath announced his decision to transfer from K-State. That same day, running back Dalvin Warmack took to the same social media website to do the same.

Like Heath, Warmack will be leaving the Wildcats as a graduate transfer.

This past season, Warmack ran for a career-high 252 yards and three touchdowns. Those totals were good for third amongst K-State running backs.

Warmack will finish the Wildcats portion of his collegiate playing career with 527 yards and three touchdowns on 101 carries. He also added six receptions for another 76 yards.

WR Dominique Heath announces transfer from K-State on Twitter

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One season removed from being the most productive member of Kansas State’s passing game, Dominique Heath has decided to move in another direction.

Heath took to his personal Twitter account Sunday to announce that he will be transferring from K-State.  A North Carolina native, Heath stated in his social media missive that he wants “to continue my football career [somewhere] closer to home.”

As the wide receiver will be leaving as a graduate transfer, Heath will be eligible to play at another FBS program closer to his Tar Heel State home in 2018.

In 2016, Heath, a two-star 2014 recruit, led the Wildcats with 45 receptions.  His 438 yards and three touchdowns were good for second on the team that year.  This past season, he had 22 catches for 196 yards.  Both of those totals were fourth on the team.

Heath will finish the K-State portion of his playing career with 947 yards and seven touchdowns on 95 receptions.

Kansas State defensive cooridnator Tom Hayes retires

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In a somewhat odd development on Friday night, Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes has retired from coaching. As reported Friday night by GoPowercat.com of 247 Sports, Hayes decided to retire after six years on the job under head coach Bill Snyder. The Wichita Eagle has also confirmed the news of the retirement.

As noted by the report from the original report, Hayes had intended to step into retirement at the end of the 2017 season. That outlook supposedly changed with Hayes opting to stick around for at least one more season. It is suspected Hayes was looking to retire at the same time Snyder may have moved on from being the head coach of the Wildcats, but Kansas State announced earlier this month Snyder will return for the 2018 season.

The reason the timing comes off as odd is because Kansas State just spent some time this week adding new members to the coaching staff, and we are smack dab in the middle of two signing days on the recruiting calendar, with the second national signing day coming up in two weeks. Earlier this week, Kansas State promoted Andre Coleman to the role of offensive coordinator and two other staff members received a promotion to work around some offseason coaching turnover on the assistant coaching staff. Both of those adjustments were on the offensive coaching side of the staff. The new departure of Hayes from the staff leaves Snyder with some more tinkering to do on the defensive side of the staff with signing day looming.

It is never too late for Kansas State to pull a coach from outside the program to fill such a role on the staff, but it may not be a surprise to see Kansas State stay in-house to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Blake Seiler has been assigned the role of assistant defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Wildcats and may be the most likely option to take on the full-time role as defensive coordinator if Kansas State sticks to his own staff to find a replacement. And after replacing his offensive coordinator with an in-house promotion, that would certainly seem to be a likely scenario for the defensive coordinator vacancy now as well. Seiler is a former defensive end for Kansas State who played for Snyder. Seiler has been on the coaching staff for nine seasons, five as a full-time assistant coach.